By Landing Ceesay
The leader of the National People’s Party (NPP) told the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to be ‘independent’ in conducting elections for parties to accept the results.
“There is a piece of advice and the piece of advice is directed to the IEC. If anybody is a member of the IEC, automatically you are the referee and if you are a referee, you must be independent. If you are independent, it makes the job easier for you. If you are independent, it makes the job easier for the players. If you are independent it makes it very easy for all the parties to accept the final results and the decision of the Gambian people,” President Adama Barrow told the commission.
Asked whether he would make available to the public, copies of the declaration of his assets as the leader of the UDP did, Barrow responded: “Declaring assets is part of the conditions and you have to fulfil them and I have already declared it to the IEC and it is now left with the IEC to declare it publicly. We play by (the) rules and regulations and it is with the IEC now.”
On day 6 of the nomination, the NPP leader, and independent aspirants Essa Mbye Faal, and Sheikh Matarr Niang filed their papers to the IEC between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm, for consideration.
The nomination of presidential aspirants would end on Friday at the Election House in Kanifing with the National Unity Party (NUP), Democratic Party (DP) and independent candidate Papa Faal scheduled to appear between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm.
The process would complete on Friday, and the details of the aspirants are on Saturday expected to be published for public scrutiny before the Electoral Commission would either accept or reject them.
For a successful nomination every aspirant should: be a citizen of The Gambia; attain a minimum age of thirty years; complete senior secondary school education; be ordinarily resident in The Gambia for the five years immediately preceding the election; be nominated by not less than five thousand voters whose names appeared in the register of voters with at least two hundred voters being drawn from each Administrative Area; present a sworn declaration of assets; present a tax clearance certificate; make payment of the deposit of Ten-thousand dalasi (D10, 000) as amended; have a representative symbol, colour and his/her photographs; be qualified as a voter under the Constitution and the Election Act may contest as an independent candidate in any election; shall abide by the code on election campaign ethics which the Commission may time to time prepare as a political party/candidate; and submit a manifesto which encourages the spirit of tolerance and multiculturalism.